Detoxing

The Many Scientifically Researched Benefits of Black Seed Oil

I wanted to write about Black Seed Oil, also known as Black Cumin Seed Oil, since it has been gaining in popularity, though it seems to have a vagueness that surrounds it as to what it actually does.

Most articles on black seed oil seem to say that it’s “cures everything”, a claim that always makes me extremely skeptical since it brings to mind the unscrupulous snake oil salesmen of the last century.

The more I looked into black seed oil, however, I found that there has been study after study done on its benefits, with great results. Research has found it to have beneficial effects on so many different aspects of health, including metabolic syndrome (a condition characterized by excess weight and high blood sugar), high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, respiratory health, skin conditions, and more. It’s impressive due to the sheer volume of studies that have been done that have shown benefit for so many vastly different things.

Here’s a link to a review on Black Seed Oil studies.

This is another review on the researched benefits of black cumin seeds.

One of my favorite benefits for black seed oil is its effect on the immune system. One of black seed oil’s natural compounds is thymoquinone, a potent immune booster that strengthens and activates the immune system’s T-cells (the white blood cells that help to identify harmful invaders like bacteria and viruses). Research has shown black seed to have antibacterial and antiviral effects against a number of infectious diseases including strep and h. pylori bacteria and viruses like hepatitis and even HIV. That isn’t to say that black seed oil is necessarily a cure-all for those conditions, but that it has been found to have beneficial antibacterial and antiviral effects against those diseases.

In addition to immune boosting effects, black seed oil has further benefits to the respiratory system itself, including being extremely helpful for asthma patients. In one study, people with asthma used black seed oil daily for three months and experienced impressive benefits in respiratory functioning and a reduction in asthma symptoms.

The interesting thing about black seed oil is that it does not just seem to have immune boosting effects, but rather has shown to have an immune modulating activity- boosting the immune system when needed, but also helping to calm down the excessive immune response seen in autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. One placebo controlled study on rheumatoid arthritis found that women who took black seed twice daily for a month found a reduction in their symptoms of RA.

Black seed oil also appears to have protective effects for a number of the body’s different systems and organs, reducing destructive, toxic effects on the brain, liver, lungs cardiovascular system, and the digestive tract. This article has more in-depth information on the significant protection black seed has from toxic damage from a variety of sources (scroll down to about halfway through to read more about black seed oil’s beneficial protective effects).

Black seed oil can also have beneficial effects on eczema and psoriasis and for those conditions can be taken both internally and used topically for relief.

I feel like I’ve gone on and on already about the benefits of black seed oil, but in truth, there are so many more and I’ve only mentioned a few. Black seed oil has a long history of use for a variety of ailments. It is native to the Middle East and Africa, and has been mentioned in both the Old Testament and the Quran. The prophet Muhammad is even quoted as saying, “Use the Black Seed for indeed, it is a cure for all diseases except death.” Suffice it to say that it has a long history of impressive benefits and use- even back to the time of the Egyptians!

The black seed oil we recommend is by a company called Talya. As many of you know, we’re particular about the brands and products we carry. We chose this brand of black seed oil specifically since it has the highest amount of the beneficial active ingredients in black seed oil and is unrefined and cold pressed. Also, Talya does third party testing on each batch of black seed oil for potency and to make sure that it is free from pesticides, herbicides, as well as other chemicals and contaminants. Talya’s black seed oil meets France’s standards for “Eco Certification” and is in the process of undergoing organic certification processes by the USDA.

The recommended dosages for black seed oil is one teaspoon twice daily for preventative health or two teaspoons twice daily, up to as much as six teaspoons a day (in divided doses) for acute needs or for recovering from an illness.

Black seed oil should be taken with food to help absorption and it’s also important to shake the bottle vigorously before using it, since its beneficial compounds can separate when the bottle sits.

We will have a representative in the store on Saturday, March 9th from 10-2 to offer samples of our Talya black seed oil and to offer further information. Be sure to stop by!

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Help for New Year Resolutions

Two things we usually think of when the New Year rolls around are detoxing and weight loss. I’ll attach a few links below on articles about both. 

For weight loss, this is a great overview of different weight loss supplements, and how they work:

How to Choose the Right Weight Loss Supplement

This is an article on garcinia cambogia, a very well researched supplement that aids weight loss in a number of different ways. The garcinia cambogia product we recommend the most is Jarrow, since it has the highest potency per pill of any other garcinia cambogia formula, and is also better absorbing. Our Jarrow garcinia cambogia will be 25% off for the month of January.

Garcinia Cambogia: A Weight Loss Supplement that Really Works

Below are two articles on detoxing and cleansing for the new year:

Q & A: Detoxing for the New Year

Nature’s Plus Complete Body Cleanse

For those who want to do a simpler cleanse, we’d recommend Nature’s Secret’s 15 Day Cleanse and Flush. It’s a one bottle product that is on sale for 25% off- less than $10 a bottle. It’s a nice, easy way to start fresh and is also a nice way to begin a new diet regimen.

 

 

Start the Year Fresh with a Whole Body Cleanse!

With the new year upon us, many people strive to begin the new year in a healthier way, and a whole body cleanse is an easy and helpful way to do that. One that we particularly recommend is the Complete Body Cleanse by Nature’s Plus.

Their complete body cleanse is a mix of three products in one kit. An herbal cleansing formula, which has ingredients designed to helps to detoxify the liver, lymphatic system, kidney, blood, and lungs. Next, there is a fiber formula, which helps to bind the released toxins and also works as a whisk to clean out the intestines. Finally, there is a gentle colon cleanse with laxative herbs for nighttime.

Many people are worried about doing a cleanse, particularly the colon cleansing part with laxative herbs because they’re worried that they won’t be able to leave the house because they’ll be in the bathroom all day. Don’t be. A good cleanse like this one by Nature’s Plus that we’re recommending should be gentle, gradually helping to increase the amount of bowel movements you have per day, but not in an excessive or unpleasant way.

A cleanse is a fantastic thing to do a couple times a year, or at least annually. Our modern lives put a big stress on our bodies by the chemicals and toxins we come in contact with every day, whether through our environment, our food and drinks, the medications we take, and even the very air we breathe. Taking time out to cleanse and restore the body’s systems can help to bring the body back into balance.

After doing a cleanse, many people feel lighter and more energized, but I would say that it’s definitely beneficial, even if you don’t feel very different afterwards, it’s a way of knowing that you’re doing what you can to help your body to run right and give it a bit of a break from the constant toxic load that it usually has to deal with (even from the healthiest of us). It’s almost something that can be likened to changing the oil in a car- your car might not ride much different afterward, but its continued maintenance will help it to run longer and better. Well, your body is definitely more important than a car, so make sure to treat it right too!

When doing a cleanse,  you can still eat as you normally would, but choosing a diet full of fresh produce, whole grains, and unprocessed foods will help it to be even more effective. A cleanse will still work if you’re eating McDonald’s every day, but I personally wouldn’t recommend it. ;)

Nature’s Plus Complete Body Cleanse comes in both one and two-week formulas. I would absolutely recommend doing the two week one. It’s only a few more dollars than the one-week formula, and having a second week of cleansing really does help to release more toxins in the body- in my opinion, the second week makes a big difference.

Happy cleansing!

 

 

 

Natural Feminine Hygiene Products

With April being Earth Day, we usually think about natural household cleansers as a great way to reduce the toxins in your household.  This month, however, I wanted to write about natural feminine hygiene products, since it’s something most women don’t think about, but is something that can make a big difference in reducing the toxins in our lives and helping with overall health.

The skin is the largest organ in the body and is extremely permeable to toxins- especially the vaginal area which is lined with mucous membranes that can easily absorb chemicals and pesticides.  There are no long term studies on the safety of using conventional tampons and the chemicals they contain on the human body. 

Also with conventional tampons, fiber shedding is an issue, where bits of rayon and other fibers are left in the vagina, which can cause bacterial infections or worse.  See this page for more information.  Organic tampons like those from Naturacare and Emerita do not have that issue since they are not made from rayon and other man-made materials.

It is best to choose organic, 100% cotton, chlorine free feminine products, not only for the health of the environment, but for the sake of our own bodies as well!  The average woman will use 11,000 tampons and pads in their lifetime- that’s a lot of exposure to toxins that can be easily avoided by switching to natural feminine care products.

 

 

Start the New Year Right with a Whole Body Cleanse

January is the start of a fresh new year, and as such is a fantastic time for a whole body cleanse!  Every day our bodies are bombarded by toxins from our environment, cleaning products, medications, and the foods we eat.  Doing a whole body cleanse once or twice a year is a great way to keep your body in tip top shape.

Whole body cleansing kits like those we sell at the store are a combination of supplements which help to aid in detoxification of all the body’s main detoxification pathways, supporting the liver (the body’s main cleansing organ), as well as cleaning out the colon.

Many people find enhanced energy and immunity after a whole body cleanse.  It’s also a good way to begin a diet and exercise program, since being bogged down to toxins can hamper weight loss efforts.

One we especially recommend at Pass Health Foods is Nature’s Plus Complete Body Cleanse- a kit of three different products (all in vegetarian capsules, thankfully).  It’s a certified organic formula that’s both gluten free and vegetarian that includes an herbal cleansing formula, a fiber formula, and then a nighttime colon cleansing formula.  It is taken only in the morning and evening, and while it does increase bowel movements, it is gentle and will not lead to “colon cleansing emergencies” (something I know many people are worried about).

It’s definitely one to try, and is a great way to start 2016!



Healthy Q & A: Liver Health and Medications

Q:  I wonder if you can give me some advice.  My dad is in his early seventies and has taken a whole bunch of medications for years for cholesterol, blood pressure, and pain.  I know that he has to be so toxic from taking those medications for so long and that they have to be hurting his liver.  I’d really like to be able to give him something to take to protect his liver, but I’m worried about things interacting with his medications.  Do you have any ideas?

A: I understand your worry.  Often prescription medications are necessary, but they can take a toll on the body- often the most on the liver (which processes everything put into the body).  The best supplement I can recommend is milk thistle.  Milk thistle is probably the very best supplement that exists for supporting, cleansing, and healing the liver.  It’s very safe to take, and no drug interactions have ever been reported from it.  In fact, in the book A-Z Guide to Drug-Herb-Vitamin Interactions by Alan Gaby, milk thistle is mentioned quite a few times as an herb to take with medications known to damage the liver.  

Milk thistle has been the subject of numerous clinical trials due to its potent liver protecting qualities.  It’s one of the few herbs that really have no pharmaceutical equivalent, and has been shown useful in treating liver diseases such as alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver poisoning, vital hepatitis, fatty liver, acne, and more.  Not only can it protect the liver against further damage, studies have documented its ability to regenerate the liver.

The liver performs so many important functions, and keeping the liver clean makes a huge impact in health, so I think it would be a great choice for your dad.

Health Q & A: Detoxing

Q:

My new year’s resolution s to be healthier.  I wanted to kick it off with a cleanse of some kind, but I’m unsure of which to do since I’ve heard stories of people doing colon cleanses and then being stuck in the bathroom all day.  I don’t want that lol.  Do you have any recommendations or ideas for me? 

A:

A goal to be healthier this year is a wonderful resolution, and a whole body cleanse is a great way to begin.  Many people are afraid to take cleansing products for the reason you mentioned, but we have a number of great ones at the store which are gentle but still very effective.  A new product we’ve gotten recently in that I really like is Nature’s Plus Complete Body Cleanse.  It’s a formula with vegetarian capsules that are taken morning and night.  It contains three different bottles- a cleansing formula with probiotics and organic herbs which helps to detoxify the liver, colon, lymphatic system, blood, kidneys and more; a fiber formula, and a gentle nighttime herbal laxative formula which also contains probiotics and probiotics.  I’d say it’s definitely the most complete whole body cleanse we have and the one I would recommend above all others.

 

For general health after your cleanse, there are three supplements which I think everyone should take, the first being a quality multivitamin which will help to fill in nutritional gaps in your diet.  The next woule be vitamin D, which most Americans are deficient in, especially in the winter months.  Vitamin D is crucial for the immune system, bone health, cardiovascular health and a myriad of other benefits.  The third supplement would be omega 3 fish oil.  Omega 3 fatty acids are needed for proper brain function and also help with reducing inflammation in the body as well as lowering cholesterol (specifically triglycerides) along with a long list of benefits for other health conditions.  It's important to note that the body cannot produce omega 3 fatty acids- they must be obtained through diet.  If a person is not eating fatty fish or flax/chia seeds on a regular basis, it is extremely likely that they are deficient in omega 3 fatty acids.

 

A quality diet is also important for vibrant health, with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, as is being physically active.  Exercising can be difficult in the winter months since the freezing temperatures aren’t really conducive to outdoor exercise.  Groupon has been having good deals lately for exercise classes in the area, sothat’s worth looking into.  There are also some great free exercise videos available online.  Fit Sugar is a website I really like that has wonderful quick 10 minute workout videos.   Another good one is Fitness Blender.  They have a fast 8 minute workout that’s really great and still gets the heart rate up.